There comes a time when every writer needs someone to read their work and tell them what’s good about it. The key is not getting that input too early or too late in the process.
So how do you know when you’re ready for a critique of your writing?
- You’ve done more than just write the story.
Getting feedback before your writing is the best you can make it isn’t the best idea.
This means you’ve written a first draft. You let it sit for a day or a week or a month before going back and rereading it.
You plugged plot holes and honed the language. Sentences are clear and free from extraneous words.
When you read it, it seems decent. But you’re not ready to trust your instincts. Now, you might be ready to send it off to a professional for a critique.
- You’re getting mixed responses about the story.
Maybe you’ve let multiple people read the story and some love it but others don’t like it much. It’s not just these mixed reactions that matter. It’s if they have common threads.
If that’s the case, there are elements of truth to what they naysayers have discovered.
Are you unsure how to fix it? Maybe a critique can help.
A good critique is more than a list of weaknesses. It notices strengths. It offers insights into what readers might be expecting (if that’s not what’s on the page).
If your mixed responses come from publishing professionals, maybe you can reach out to them and ask for further details.
- It’s no longer clear what works in the story.
Sometimes, we’ve worked a story over for so long and through so many iterations, we no longer know what was good about it. Or if anything ever was.
If it’s a story you believe in, you aren’t going to let it go.
That means it’s time for an intervention. A professional critique could be exactly what will unveil the good, the bad, and the unrelatable in that story.
- Something is missing but you don’t know what.
If you’ve ever had a beta reader say, “Something was missing, but I’m not sure what” you understand the sinking sand such a statement opens in your writer’s soul.
You want to make it better. But if you don’t know what’s missing, it’s mission impossible.
A professional is more likely to spot the deficiency and be able to name it than your average reader. Most readers aren’t versed enough in story structure to verbalize what they understand is missing.
It’s clear from the sorry state of many books published on Amazon, that too many writers think they don’t need to get feedback on their work. Even if they hire someone to edit their manuscript, they might not have the best product. If they needed a developmental edit but only got a line edit, the story may be weak. Maybe the editor they hired is unfamiliar with the genre expectations.
What every writer needs before they take their book public is expert advice. But it costs money.
If this is you, it may be time to consider getting feedback from a published author who’s familiar with your genre. Understanding reader expectations is essential if the input is going to be helpful, useful, and on target.
If this is you, I want you to know, I’m here to help. My first chapter critique is thorough and inexpensive.
Ready to take your writing to the next level? Book a critique now.